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Causes of Early Childhood Caries

Posted on 5/22/2023 by Lanier Valley Dentistry
Causes of Early Childhood CariesEarly childhood caries (ECC) is the decay of one or more teeth in children. In the early stages, this condition can present itself as white spots near the gum line. If left untreated, the situation can worsen, and you may notice brown spots and holes in the teeth. In most cases, tooth decay in children occurs due to poor oral hygiene. When you fail to clean your baby's teeth after consuming foods high in sugar and carbohydrates, bacteria in the mouth will use them to make acids. This destroys the child's tooth enamel putting them at risk of cavities.

What Are The Risk Factors Of ECC?

Early childhood caries mostly happens to children under 6 years of age. The leading cause of this condition is the consumption of sugary items. Poor feeding habits, such as baby bottles with pacifiers, increase the frequent consumption of sweetened items. You may think that giving your baby sugary items is a good way to motivate them to eat. However, these foods increase the risk of plaque buildup, which, if left untreated, destroys the tooth enamel. Failing to wipe the baby's gums or brush their teeth can also increase plaque buildup, which can, in turn, lead to cavities.

What Happens If You Do Not Treat Tooth Decay In Kids?

Also known as baby bottle decay, early childhood caries can become a big deal if left untreated. As you are aware, this tooth decay forms holes in the outermost layer of the tooth, exposing the dentin. This leads to tooth sensitivity and pain. If left untreated, the bacterial infection can spread to the pulp, causing severe pain that can affect the child's ability to sleep and eat.

In addition, early childhood caries can lead to premature tooth loss. Early loss of baby teeth leads to long-term dental issues such as bite problems and teeth misalignment. In this case, it would be best to treat cavities in kids as soon as you notice them. You can achieve this by scheduling dental examinations for your kids so the dentist can detect the cavities early. Contact us today for a cavity risk assessment for your child.


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At Lanier Valley Dentistry, we provide an in-depth dental blog to inform our patients and the community about the real issues that affect your oral health.
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